Frequent urination in pregnancy: Causes and tips

If only a few weeks have passed since you found out you were pregnant, and already you’re noticing more frequent trips to the bathroom, this all very normal. The urge to pee more starts early on in pregnancy and continues right through to the third trimester as the uterus, and your growing baby, pushes up against your bladder. 
Is it a bit annoying? Yes. Is it normal? Yes. In most cases, frequent urination is nothing to worry about. 
In this article, we will cover: 
  • What causes frequent urination throughout pregnancy? 
  • Tips for managing frequent urination during pregnancy 
  • Could frequent urination during pregnancy signal a problem? 
Read on to understand what’s causing you to pee more, how to pee a bit less and the signs to look out for when it comes to urinary tract infections (UTI). 

What causes frequent urination throughout pregnancy?

There are a lot of ways that pregnancy can affect your bladder – most of which are totally normal (if a bit inconvenient). Here’s what to expect throughout your pregnancy: 
First trimester
Frequent urination – one of the more common early symptoms of pregnancy – can start around week four in your first trimester. 
This is all to do with your hormones. After you conceive, the fertilized egg, together with the developing placenta, begins to produce an increased amount of the hormone hCG. 
This pregnancy hormone increases blood flow to your pelvic area and kidneys, which become more efficient during your pregnancy. The downside is that it can cause symptoms like nausea and a frequent need to urinate. 
Hormones such as progesterone and relaxin soften the muscles and ligaments in your pelvic floor to prepare it for delivering a baby. This also weakens the muscles that control urine flow, so you may also find that leaking urine (aka pregnancy incontinence) becomes more common. 
We’re also more prone to during pregnancy and after childbirth, which puts even more stress on the pelvic floor and bladder, weakening the support around the urinary tract. If you’re experiencing leaks, check out our article for some top tips and advice.
Second trimester
The second trimester is usually a more comfortable one. That’s because levels of your hCG hormone – responsible for everything from nausea and fatigue to that constant urge to pee – ease off, so you should find yourself visiting the bathroom less often. 
Third trimester
It’s common for that urge to pee to ramp up again in late pregnancy, as your growing baby more pressure on your bladder and slowly moves its head down to the pelvis. This extra pressure can mean you wake up needing to pee more often in the night.
It’s also normal – particularly in the third trimester – for fluid to build up in your legs, feet and ankles. The extra fluid accumulates throughout the day in the lowest parts of your body, especially if the weather is hot or you’ve been on your feet for long periods of time. 
Then, when you go to bed at night and your feet are elevated, the excess fluid finds its way back into the bloodstream and through the kidneys, where it’s filtered out as urine so, again, you need to pee more.

Tips for managing frequent urination during pregnancy

There are several things you can do to ease the seemingly endless need to pee throughout pregnancy:
Empty your bladder fully
When you go to pee, lean forward on the toilet seat and make sure you have good support under your feet. This is the most effective position for the body when it comes to emptying the bladder fully. Take time to empty your bladder properly, as leaving even a small amount of urine in the bladder increases your chances of developing a UTI.
Avoid caffeine
Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and black tea, can irritate your bladder, which increases your need to urinate.
Don’t drink too much before bed…
If you find you wake up often to urinate during the night, try limiting fluids at least two hours before bedtime.
…but still make sure you get enough fluids
Don’t drink less overall to avoid yet another trip to the bathroom. Drinking less water can lead to dehydration which, in turn, causes your urine to become more concentrated. This can irritate the bladder creating the urge to go to the toilet even when the bladder isn’t full. Staying hydrated is also key to preventing UTIs.
Stop your feet and ankles swelling during the day
Avoid standing for long periods of time as much as possible. Try wearing compression socks, keeping your feet elevated when you can, and taking regular walks or doing foot exercises. 
Elevate your legs before going to bed
Try to find time to elevate your legs before bedtime. This can help you stimulate the fluid that has accumulated in your swollen ankles and feet to move it into the bloodstream, allowing you to urinate before turning in for the night. 
Use liners or pads to absorb leaks
The frequent need to pee may become more urgent throughout pregnancy, especially in the third trimester when your baby puts extra pressure on your bladder. If you are experiencing leaks, finding the right liner or pad can make you more comfortable. 
Unlike menstrual pads, incontinence liners or pads will offer the right levels of absorption because they are specifically designed to deal with urine leakage. If you’re experiencing light leaks, TENA Discreet Ultra Mini Incontinence Liner provides triple the protection from leaks, odour and moisture thanks to its unique microPROTEX™ technology. It’s super absorbent and no larger than a menstrual pad. 
If your leaks are a bit heavier and you need a bit more absorbency, TENA Discreet Ultra Pad Mini locks away moisture and gives long-lasting dryness for up to 12 hours. 
There’s also TENA Lights Sensitive Normal Incontinence Liners if you have sensitive skin – they are fast-absorbing, very discreet and have 0% fragrance or dye for gentle protection. 
Strengthen your pelvic floor
can help to counteract the softening effect that those hormones have on your muscles and ligaments, including the muscles around your urinary tract, which makes it harder for you to hold in your urine. Check out this article to find out how to do them effectively.

Could frequent urination during pregnancy signal a problem?

It’s normal to pee more during pregnancy, but frequent urination can also be a sign of a , making diagnosis a bit tricky.
If you have any other symptoms, such as pain or a burning sensation when you pee, constant lower abdominal pain, urine with an unpleasant smell, or that’s cloudy or contains blood, contact your health care provider. 
To understand more about identifying whether or not you have a UTI, and all of the signs to look out for, check out our article on what to do if you get a UTI during pregnancy.


Frequent urination during pregnancy is common and, albeit inconvenient and a tad annoying, it’s usually nothing to worry about. Your urge to pee will vary throughout your trimesters but, once the baby has arrived, that increased urge should slowly ease off and you’ll just have your baby’s wee to take care of…
TENA is here to help you navigate your pregnancy and post-partum journey, with practical advice for pregnancy and post-partum incontinence. If you feel that you need more support, don’t hesitate to contact a healthcare professional, like your nearest GP. We have a huge range of products designed to support you – check out the full range here and don’t hesitate to contact us if you can’t find the right product for you.    

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